Tech

Basic tech tips to help you get a startup job

posted by Chris Valentine

Networking and other skills are important if you want to get a startup job ... photo by CC user dellphotos on Flickr

Photo by CC user dellphotos on Flickr

For better or for worse, life is different than it was for our parents. Technology is developing at an incredible speed, and it’s up to us whether we want to come along for the ride. Particularly in the startup hotspots of London, Berlin, California’s Silicon Valley, there is a lot of competition from eager young professionals wanting a chance to be a part of these burgeoning tech scenes.

Whether you’re looking for a job before you move, or will simply test the market once you arrive in the city, it’s important to at least have some basic tech knowledge if you apply to a startup; even if you think you’re a strong applicant, there will likely be hundreds more that you’ll have to stand out from.

Of course, knowledge of popular apps, strong ambition, and boundless enthusiasm are just some of traits you’ll need for this job market, so here a few further points that every potential candidate should be aware of before applying to get a startup job…

LEARN HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS

A job that involves being on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram sounds perfect, as this might be what you do in your spare time anyway. But there is a lot more to it than posting the occasional funny tweet or selfie; you have to know how to utilise social media in a professional sense. Knowing what to post and when, what the trending hashtags are, what content people like to see and share, and trying to stand out from the crowd are all viable points that are important to understand. Check out this post from business2community.com for further tips.

HAVING AN ONLINE PORTFOLIO

Most creative people out there will tell you to have your work online. This applies especially to journalists, bloggers, and visual professions like animators, designers, photographers, and so on, as it can be hard to express your skills if no one can see them. Even for other professions, having your own site alongside a traditional CV is a necessary step to getting noticed in the sea of applicants. There’s no point being modest here, since this is your time to shine and show off what you can do.

Furthermore, having an impressive online portfolio to link to on networking sites such as LinkedIn, can actually result in companies contacting you regarding employment; that definitely beats sending out 20 CVs every day! The process needn’t be so complex either, as providers such as 1&1 contain packages and templates that assist in the creation of online portfolios. Take a look here if you’re in the creative realm and want to design your own website in order to showcase your skills.

BASIC HTML, WORD, AND EXCEL SKILLS

No doubt software that will never go away, Microsoft’s Word and Excel are crucial programs to know inside and out. It might seem simple enough, but if the clock is ticking and you need to change the language, export the file as a PDF, or make that text just go where it’s supposed to when inserting pictures, then you’ll be glad you studied this beforehand. Excel’s formulas are quite complex, but extremely powerful time-saving devices, and could spare you the process of tedious copying and pasting and looking for duplicate content on spreadsheets, for example.

HTML is also very useful to know, as even though platforms like WordPress make online writing simple, an understanding of how web code works is still invaluable. When your employer asks you to use more strong tags and internal links within a blog post you might be writing, you best know what they’re talking about.

For further inspiration for your job hunt, be sure to read our post on some unique ways people have applied for jobs.

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